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Civil Conversations: Gracious Conversations Across Difference

By August 19, 2021September 15th, 2021No Comments

Thursdays, September 9 and 16:  7:00 to 9:00pm (via Zoom, see our Thursday e-news for the link)

Sundays, September 19 and 26: 10:10 to 11:05am (in-person TBD)

Please read this in preparation for the conversation on September 26

We are offering a four-session series about how to have gracious conversations across lines of difference, called “Civil Discourse.” Given how polarized our culture is, and given the changes in life and in our church during the pandemic and our discernment about justice issues like the Sanctuary State coalition and racial justice, this seems more important than ever. People are encouraged to attend all sessions if you are able, but especially the Sunday sessions (On the 26th we will use this process to discuss the Sanctuary State coalition).

Civil discourse is about enhanced understanding—it is not about giving credibility or merit, or accepting differing viewpoints as our own, or suppressing conviction or passion.  We will learn how it is important to understand what alternative values may guide others’ views of the world, where those values come from, and how they guide someone’s opinions and actions.

When we learn to understand those whose values may be different than our own, we improve our ability to perceive the world more accurately and profoundly, and this increases our potential for resolving conflict in creative ways.

Civility is simply demonstrating respect for the dignity of our fellow humans – even those humans with whom we have sharp disagreement. Civility is allowing others to speak, and having the humility to admit that we may have something to learn. Civility favors truth over cheap gain, and patience over knee-jerk judgment.

Consider our time exploring Civil Conversations as adding usable tools to your individual tool box. This process is not about issues, but process. It is not about winning a debate or discussion, but practicing dialogue, active listening, and sharing values. We live in a complicated broken world; these Way of Love tools will be helpful.

Join us! For questions, please ask Rex McKee.

Materials for the series:

civil discourse 1 handout

Civil Discourse 1 Agreements

civil discourse 1 debate and dialogue

civil discourse 2 handout

civil discourse 3 handout Values

civil discourse 4 handout

civil discourse 4 handout sacred space